A warm welcome to author Nash Summers joining us today to talk about new release “Poison Tongue”.
Welcome Nash 🙂
Levi Bell can see a person’s soul just by looking into their eyes. In Monroe Poirier’s eyes, he sees the devil himself.
When Monroe moves back to the small Southern town of Malcome, Levi is repelled by the darkness of the stranger’s soul. But Levi is cursed to love things dark and wicked, and he’s seduced each time he looks into Monroe’s eyes—and drawn to the swamp behind the old Poirier house.
As strange occurrences begin to happen when shadows and visions visit him in the night, Levi sees a flicker of something good in Monroe’s soul. But the need to submerge himself in the swamp’s murky waters grows stronger as Levi’s desire for Monroe becomes unbearable.
In his struggles to help Monroe save his soul, Levi will have to decide if it’s worth losing his own.
Monroe sat on the couch in front of the fireplace where a fire blazed in front of him. A pile of blankets and a pillow sat stacked neatly on the couch cushions. On the end table to his right was an open bottle of whiskey—half-gone—and a glass filled with amber-colored liquid.
When I stepped into the room, he didn’t look at me. He reached to his side, taking the glass of whiskey in his hand and putting it to his lips. His eyes focused on nothing but the fire. Red strokes of light swirled against his cool, reflective eyes.
I stood there awkwardly, unsure of what to do, wanting to stay, needing to leave.
After a few painfully quiet moments, Monroe said, “I wish I could drain the entire fucking swamp.” He looked up at me then, his eyes meeting mine. “So that it wouldn’t make you come here.”
“I’m sorry that I’m here.” My voice was strong, even though it felt like my heart had cracked in two.
Monroe snorted, took a large swig out of his glass. “I bet you are, Levi. That damn swamp, this damn curse—they’re the only reason you’d ever come near me. I know that. And still, it hurts you.”
“I can’t help wanting it. There’s something so evil about it, so dark. It’s some sick obsession. Or maybe it’s love. I don’t even know if there’s a difference anymore.”
Monroe poured the whiskey into his glass. His gaze focused again on the crackling flames. “There’s a difference.”
I smiled sadly, looked down at my bare feet. “I’m afraid one of these nights you won’t be there to save me, that I’ll drown in that swamp.”
“That won’t happen.”
“It could. I’ve been close a few times. I dream of it, how it would feel.”
“It won’t happen.”
“How do you know?”
“I stay up every night and watch for you.” Another long sip of whiskey. “So I know it won’t happen. I’ll never let it happen.”
“What? Every night?”
Monroe laughed then. Tossed his head back and laughed loudly enough for the sound to echo around the room, against the walls. He stared at the fire. I wished he would stare at me.
“Why?” he said rhetorically. “The man who can look into a person’s eyes and see their soul is asking me ‘why’?”
I said nothing.
“I heard you laugh, once,” Monroe said. “I don’t think you laugh too often, but I was there, standing right next to you, and I heard you laugh. I might’ve known it before then, but it was the first time I admitted it myself.” He paused for a moment, put the glass to his lips, tipped his head back, and let the liquid pour down his throat. “If you drown yourself in that swamp, Levi, I’ll follow right behind you. Not sure my life is worth a damn if I never get to hear that laugh again.”
I closed my eyes.
My gran had been right. I might give up my soul for the devil because why would anyone bother keeping their soul if there wasn’t anyone to love you for it?
I lied to myself, told myself it didn’t have to be anything but the touch, the pull, the release of the desire that continued to grow between us. It was a balloon that was too full, popping, the last thread in a well-worn bracelet finally snapping.
He didn’t seem to notice I’d moved between his knees and stood there, looking down at him. When his view of the fire was blocked, only then did he look up at me.
I hated when he looked at me. And I loved it too. The pits of his soul were so dark that when he looked at me, I could feel my body ache. I’d never questioned if my ability to see a person’s soul was a gift or a curse. But right then, as he stared up at me like that and I could see a glimmer of black scales and golden lights in his eyes, I knew it was a gift.
The wet towel made a quiet thud as I dropped it to the floor. Monroe’s eyes didn’t leave my face. I reached out slowly and pressed the tips of my fingers against the stubble along his jaw. He closed his eyes and whispered my name.
I crawled on top of him, my legs on the outsides of his thighs. Monroe wrapped his arms around me instantly. He pressed his palms against my shoulder blades and then slid his hands lower, slowly, down my back. The warmth of his hands and the warmth of the fire behind me felt like a soothing embrace.
I leaned forward and kissed him. It was tentative, sweet. The kiss was slow, unlike the one we’d previously shared. Where that kiss was hot and hungry, this kiss was reserved. His lips felt soft pressed against mine. When I put my hands against the hardness of his chest and pressed my tongue into his mouth, he groaned, pulled me closer, and deepened the kiss.
Goosebumps broke out all over my skin. My senses flew into overdrive. I could feel everything and knew nothing but where Monroe’s lips and tongue touched mine, his hands against my back.
“Levi,” he said quietly, pulling back. “You want this?”
When I opened my eyes, the room was dark except for the light at my back. The corners of the room were blacker than ever. The air was hot, humid, full of electricity and magic. “Yes. I want you.”
Nash Summers rarely has any idea what she’s doing. But when she likes to pretend, she pretends by writing stories at the pace of drying paint. As if that wasn’t exhilarating enough, Nash also enjoys absolute silence, general politeness, and waiting her turn in line.
Needless to say, she’s a bona fide hell raiser.